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Published on Sep 11, 2008
For the past year, Sen. John McCain has told a pretty good joke about grizzly bears to make a point about what he deems wasteful federally-funded earmark spending.
"My friends," McCain says, "we spent $3 million of your money to study the DNA of bears in Montana. "Now I don't know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue, but it was a waste of money."
It turns out, the state of Alaska under Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, sought millions in federal funds to study the genetics of harbor seals, and gather data on halibut fisheries and sea crabs.
According to Politico, Alaska requested $3.2 million for "Seal and Stellar Sea Lion Biological Research," which would among to things be used to monitor ice seal populations in Native villages and study the "specifies delineation and genetics of harbors seals to understand the declines in populations and provide for population restoration."
The state also sought $2 million to look into Bering Sea crab productivity and sustainability" and $494,900 to collect data for an assessment of recreational halibut harvest.